"Onibitaki"

Every year in Yakushima, the 7th of January a New Year event called "Onibitaki" is held. 
屋久島では毎年1月7日に、「鬼火焚き」という新年の行事が行われます。

七草の日.jpg

It can change according to the village, but one example is that for this event, a bamboo tower is built, and the face of an ogre (Oni) drawn by children is hang on the top. New Year's decorations, shimenawa (sacred straw rope) and amulets are gathered, and children who have been born on the year of the same animal as the new year in the Chinese Zodiac (2021 is the year of the Ox), lit the fire and with a bow and arrow made of bamboo shoot at the ogre, thus chasing the ogre away and praying for the safety and health of their family. 
内容は集落によって違いがありますが、一例としては、竹のやぐらを作り、そのてっぺんに子供たちが描いた鬼の顔を掲げます。そこにお正月飾り、しめ縄、御札などを集め、年男や年女(2021年は丑年)の子供たちが火をつけて、竹で作った弓と矢で鬼を追い払い、家内安全、無病息災を祈ります。

This tradition is meant to chase away evil, purify oneself with fire and bring a new fire to the household. 
We hope this is a good year for all. ^^
これは厄を払い、火で身を清め、家に新しい火を迎えるという伝統行事です。
今年も良い年になりますように~ ^^

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